Yesterday we played the Parklife Festival in Manchester, England
Yesterday we played the Parklife Festival in Manchester, England. It was freezing, rainy, and wonderful. We were joined by legendary guitarist Johnny Marr of the famed band The Smiths (and Electronic, The The and others).
Johnny and I have become great friends. He's named his son Nile, after me, and the other Nile's a pretty damned fine guitarist too, and Johnny gave me one of his signature Fender Jaguars the night before.
I don't know how to explain Manchester to people who've never been here, but for a freezing rainy city, the people are warm and charming - and they're serious music fans. When I stepped onto the stage to take a few photos before our set I was greeted by massive sea of humanity, all ready to get their groove on.
We only played half of our two hour show because there were many acts on the bill and we're never disrespectful of other acts. We're all in this together and it's the audience that counts. But around forty-minutes into our show my body was finally starting to warm up. And when we performed "Le Freak," I was Ready to Play My A$$ Off.
Sport video at Parklife shot by John Ryan
Johnny and I have become great friends
Johnny gave me one of his signature Fender Jaguars the night before
I don't know how to explain Manchester to people who've never been here, but for a freezing, rainy city, the people are warm and charming
I stepped onto the stage to take a few photos before our set I was greeted by massive sea of humanity, all ready to get their groove on
Folami, Kim, me, and even our driver arrive in coordinated colors
The CHIC Horns - Steve Jankowski and Bill Holloman
We're all in this together and it's the audience that counts
But around forty-minutes into our show my body was finally starting to warm up
Johnny Marr playing my Fender Custom Shop Hitmaker Strat, me, and Jerry Barnes on "Le Freak."
Heading out to the UK for a string of festivals! Enjoy the tunes.
THE PARKLIFE WEEKENDER - Saturday June 9, 2012 :: INFO
ROCKNESS - Sunday June 10, 2012 :: INFO
Loch Ness, Scotland
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert
Bernard Edwards, my long time partner, peeked out from behind the curtain at the sellout crowd in Tokyo's Budokan. "Look at that," he said to me right before we took the stage. "We did it. They didn't come to see us, they came to hear our music." That would be my last concert with him. After that show he went back to his hotel room and died on the sofa. His words were prophetically correct. We had done what we'd set out to do.
Our dream was never to become stars, our dream was to have our music heard. That's every composer's dream. Anywhere I go on this planet, I can anonymously sit and watch the world listen to my music. And if I'm on stage and I say, "One, Two, Awww," the audience instinctively responds "Freak Out!" They don't know me, but They Know The Song.
The composition "We Are Family" that we wrote for the group Sister Sledge, has been a part of every U.S. president's campaign and victory parties since the 80's. President Nelson Mandela knows The Song and last night I watched Britain's Royal family bop their heads to it. That in and of itself would be cool, but what's really cool is you can tell They Know The Song.
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee - "We Are Family"
After my late exercise workout I had a quick business meeting
Yesterday, I worked through the night and I didn't do my exercise until later in the day. This gave me the rare opportunity to interact with my neighbors. Not just the humans - the animals too. I love all living things and we share this earth together. Since being attacked by cancer I have a different perspective on the Cycle of Life and death.
Without going through a bunch of high-school science chatter about the earth's microscopic changes from natural abundance and what "we" used to call atomic weight now called relative atomic mass - the earth is referred to as a closed ecosystem because basically things don't naturally escape nor enter it. In the most general terms, "What happens on earth stays on earth." Our planet nourishes the organisms that occupy it.
Here's my camera capturing a little of the The Cycle of Life Around Me.
When I returned home I changed clothes and went to do some work on the dock
This gave me the rare opportunity to interact with my neighbors. This is the third group of kids I've watched grow up since I've moved here. I love them all!
All living things share this earth together and this family of birds built a nest under my dock, thus sharing it with me
Here's a great shot of both parents, one tending to the young and the other trying to scare me away
Once they realized I wasn't a threat they decided to join each other to watch-out for other possible dangers to their nestlings
Hooking up for guard duty
Don't mess with our nest - not even you Nile!
The mole is an SI unit which measures the number of particles in a specific substance. "What happens on earth stays on earth."
Here's a very large bird about to grab a nice sized fish
As I loudly ran back up my dock I startled this family of ducks that were also nesting but underneath my boardwalk
When I got to the top of my boat ramp a mother jumped out to scare me off - I'm positive I'd gotten too close to her nest because she flew towards me several times
Since being attacked by cancer I have a different perspective on the Cycle of Life and death
There was a bed of at least 300 mussels next to my boat ramp
These birds were having an All-You-Can-Eat feast - Our planet nourishes the organisms that occupy it
The Cycle of Life Around Me
My first meal after cancer surgery - I had a great fear of the unknown and started the blog a few days later
I originally started this blog because of fear of the unknown. During the course of writing over 480 blogs I've heard more stories about death and disease than I could've imagined. Most come to me personally and they've inspired me to live life to the fullest.
Two days ago, I went to my primary care doctor and all my blood-tests results came back perfect. I asked, "Is there anything I can do to improve?" - I was told, "No, the numbers are as good as they can possibly be." However, that's exactly what I was told nineteen months ago, a few days before another doctor informed me that a very aggressive cancer had attacked me. But now I only worry about cancer every ninety-days - when I get checked to see if cancer has re-invaded my body.
My new focus is on improving and sustaining my quality of life for as long as possible. I feel great but I can be in better shape - so today I started a longer exercise routine. This new routine eats up much more time and I may not be able to get a new blog out every morning at 4:50 AM.
If you don't see the blog post change at 4:50 AM don't be alarmed - I'm okay, I'm just working out! The blog will change at a later time. Please check throughout the day. I've been putting this exercise routine off for a long time but I know it's something I need to do. Something I've got to Try Before I Die.
I'm inspired to live life to the fullest
All my blood-test results came back perfect
My new focus is on improving and sustaining my quality of life for as long as possible
I did cardio today
I walked on a steep incline today
I'm swam in my turbulence pool today as part of my workout
We pulled the boat out of the water today - but of course that won't be everyday
After today's longer workout I cooled off in the backyard. It was time consuming and hard but I know I can get back into shape
Some of the most beautiful people, both inside and out - Just think, in Curacao this lovely girl is a stage hand - Ouch!
A couple of weeks ago we were in Curacao, and the shows and the crowd were so amazing we didn't want it to end. They have some of the most beautiful people there, on both the inside and out.
While we were playing "Le Freak" I saw this amazing crowd that had gathered and were having a synchronized dance party in the middle of about thirty-thousand people. I was so impressed I had to have security get them and bring them up on stage for the finale - "Good Times."
In the end, there were so many people partying with us they almost Made The Stage Collapse.
NILE RODGERS & CHIC :: "Good Times" LIVE in Curacao 5-17-2012
We were on fire
While we were playing "Le Freak" I saw this amazing crowd that had gathered and were having a synchronized dance party in the middle of about thirty-thousand people
Carl Carter's first time playing bass with CHIC - Here he's locking down "Good Times" while I kick a little "Rapper's Delight"
My best friend in Curacao is named Rena. She took me to the doctor the first time I visited the island and I could see her in that huge crowd
My left eye had swollen shut - It was the night Donna Summer passed away and I'd shed a few tears
Feeling the funk in Curacao
Starting solo guitar "Le Freak" intro
Folami with me and Kim on the Jumbotron
CHIC is not a cover band. I played on the original versions of every song we play in our set
CHIC is not a cover band. If you look at the original album credits of every song that I play in our set, you'll see that somebody from the CHIC Organization is playing on every song. The reason I use my band to record - or I join the band that I'm producing - is that it creates an atmosphere of camaraderie on the production. We feel like we're all in it together.
I've surrounded myself with great musicians my whole life and I love to feature them. Check out my drummer Ralph Rolle performing David Bowie's smash single "Let's Dance." On the original album mostly every instrumentalist in CHIC Is On The Record.
NILE RODGERS & CHIC :: "Let's Dance" LIVE in Curacao 5-17-2012
CHIC in Curacao
This show was PACKED
A final goodnight in Curacao
Meeting uber-producer / composer Giorgio Moroder at the IMS was exciting for me
I've spent the last week in Ibiza at the International Music Summit - and it was one of the most exciting weeks of my life. The IMS is a conference centered around dance music professionals. From the moment I composed my first dance record, my life has been on a wonderfully positive artistic arc. That doesn't mean it's been an easy journey - in fact I've experienced numerous tragedies, but that's just life and no life is a straight line to happiness.
The role music plays in my life is particularly rewarding. I never look at anything as just another job. On any given day a recording session can turn out like Adam Lambert's "Shady." It's a song that's on his new album Trespassing, that debuted at #1 on the Billboard Chart. Even a music conference like the IMS can potentially be Life Changing Too!
The IMS is a conference centered around dance music professionals
The Full Early CHIC Org - Of the five 1st guys I've lost four - one of my life's many tragedies
Adam Lambert's new album Trespassing, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Album Chart
I met Scarlett Etienne's at IMS now she's performing with us at Montreux July 13
Legendary Francois Kevorkian and I reconnected after many years at IMS
DJ Diplo, Paul Oakenfold, me and Aurthur Baker brought together by the IMS
One of the dozens of IMS interviews which could be life changing
The Ibiza Grand Hotel lobby art gallery
One of the photos in the gallery
Another one of the photos in the gallery
It was a standing room crowd at my IMS keynote and any one encounter is potentially Life Changing
When I got home last night, the first tweet I read was about the following article from the Guardian Newspaper. I found it very interesting. People who've not read my memoir Le Freak, wouldn't know the story of how playing a festival, with the aid of a Heineken beer in a styrofoam cup, brought me out of my shell.
This is the first time I've ever put a reprint in my blog, but this year we're playing more festivals than we have since 'Nard and I started the CHIC Organization. I LOVE PLAYING FESTIVALS!
Q&A: Nile Rodgers of CHIC
The disco legend on his hippy childhood, CHIC's first festival and vibing with Johnny Marr in Manchester
The Guardian, Friday 25 May 2012
What are you planning for this summer's Chic shows?
We've changed our set a bit. We added a medley of Duran Duran's Wild Boys and INXS's Original Sin, both of which I produced back in the 80s.
So it's going to be a hit-packed set?
Always has been! By our second round of touring in 1979, we'd had five top 10 singles, plus the Sister Sledge stuff. We do some fun jazzy stuff, but it's hard to fit in because after all the stuff we love playing and the stuff people love hearing, we're 80 minutes deep.
Can you recall Chic's first festival? It must have been different to the New York nightclubs you were used to.
I remember it well. It was only our second show. The first Chic show was at a club called Casanova in Atlantic City, and the very next show was at Oakland Stadium, in front of 70,000 people. I had stage fright. That was the first time I ever drank a beer before a show.
Did it work out?
It was fantastic. I went on to drink quite a few beers!
So you enjoy festivals?
What we love is the interactivity. There is nothing like playing to a massive crowd when everyone is vibing on the same wavelength. I think Americans have lost the festival mentality a bit. As soon as a performer is over, or even before, we'll be running off to beat the traffic. Outside America, people still want to picnic, hang around outdoors. And that's me. I grew up a hippy. I lived outdoors. I was homeless for a while. I've always loved being with crowds, vibing.
Last year, you played Manchester's Warehouse Project...
Man, that was amazing. Magical. People were crowdsurfing, which we don't normally see at Chic shows. I couldn't believe how many hot girls there were in Manchester. We did a couple of songs we thought would be semi-obscure, because the venue had this dark, underground vibe. So we played a song called Soup for One, and the audience were all singing it back. Incredible! Then Johnny Marr came out to play with us on Le Freak, and it brought the house down. You know he named his son after me? Nile Marr, he's also a guitarist. He told me that right before we went on stage, and I was on the floor.
Are there any UK festivals you're particularly looking forward to?
One that sticks out is Rock Ness. Loch Ness is a wonderfully fabled story here in America.
And you're returning to Manchester for The Parklife Weekender – any chance you might play with Johnny?
I would love that. Matter of fact, I spoke to Johnny the other day, because I want one of his guitars. Maybe he can bring it down to Parklife to jam with us. You know what? I'm going to give him a ring as soon as I've finished with you.
Chic play Lovebox, Rock Ness, Vintage Festival, The Parklife Weekender, Camp Bestival and The Magic Loungeabout
Read the original article here:
The crowd from the DJ's point of view
A clip from one of our most recent performances in Curacao
The music we play makes people dance!
Me and Seal
I Love Playing Festivals
I'm heading home today after a week in Ibiza. More about this trip on tomorrow's blog, but in the meantime I would like to congratulate Adam Lambert on his first number one Billboard Album Chart entry.
I played on "Shady" and we had a lot of fun doing it. Below I'm posting videos from our session together.
Wishing you many more to come... Congrats Adam Lambert!
NRP meets RCA & MTV before hearing "SHADY"
The first time I heard the chorus of "SHADY" - I always work on the chorus first
Figuring out the song form of "SHADY"
Hearing the "SHADY" intro for the first time
At this point I've played "SHADY" at least 20 different ways and now I was just jamming
I explain to Adam after just meeting him why I played these first ideas before I got a chance to hear his ideas
Playing different ideas over Sam Sparro's bridge
At his point we'd gotten the song down, then I played a pedal part so they can fade it in & out
Adam directing an idea
One of about 20 different funky approaches to this section
Wow.. This is hard...